Best Hidden Bars in Manchester

I know that by writing this article I am ruining the whole 'hidden' bar thing. Oops.

By Alex Watson | August 30th '19

But to be honest, in the end, all secrets come out, so I’m not too bothered about it. Fingers crossed I don’t get an angry mob of pitch-fork wielding regulars at my door this week.

I’ll let you know how it turns out…

The Daisy

Everybody loves feeling special and that is exactly what happens when you go to The Daisy, even more so when you become a member. The subterranean cocktail bar is tucked away underneath one of the most popular brunch spots in town, Evelyn’s.

Massively influenced by Parisian design and drinks, there are an understated and dusted pink interior and plenty of Martinis and French spirits.

There’s even a hell of a lot of the lethal spirit, Absinthe on the menu. But not how you’d think it would be. Served from the traditional fountain over a sugar cube, the green spirit is made with a sophisticated flair and quickly becomes something you don’t want to avoid like the plague.

The cosy intimate interiors will have you not wanting to leave and forgetting you’re in the NQ.

 

Twenty Twenty Two

If friendly competition, cocktails and good music is your jam then you are going to fall arse over tit for Twenty Twenty Two. Tucked away on a seemingly pretty dodgy street and graffiti guiding your way you’ll find some old white tiles and some stairs.

In the bustling centre of the NQ is the biggest and arguably the best ping pong destination in town. it’s stacked full of them pesky tables, it’s up to you whether you go for beer pong or ping pong. There’s a fantastic ambience on the weekends too – so get yourselves down on a Saturday night for best results! Or hire their side room for your own kinda party complete with your very own private ping pong table.

Twenty Twenty Two, 20 Dale St, Manchester M1 1EZ
twentytwentytwo.co.uk

 

Speak in Code

This hidden gem only opens Wednesday to Sunday bringing late-night cocktail and a mash-up of jazz-hop music to the Manchester bar scene. Like any good and trendy place, this venues 4 walls are entirely exposed brick and you bet there are steel beams and upcycled chairs.

It’s chic, industrial and basically the personification of the cocktail Dark and Stormy.

 

The Blind Tyger

Through an unsuspecting, in fact, completely hidden doorway tucked away in a classic Latin Cantina is where you’ll find The Blind Tyger. Referencing the secret taverns of the prohibition era, The Blind Tyger is a speakeasy in the basement of Sandinista.

Once you’ve found the door, asked the bartender to let you see The Blind Tyger you’ll be led down a dark and mysterious staircase. Don’t be too scared, the room below is only filled with some taxidermy.

Traditional-style cocktail inspired by the ancestors of modern-day cocktails are both strong and delicious. You can also partake in their regular masterclasses and spirit evenings such as Gin Club Thursdays and Fizz Fridays. of course, you can treat yourself to a membership, obtaining 20% off the menu and a weekly secret serve.

Blind Tyger, 5½, Cross Belgrave St, Leeds LS2 8JP
sandinistagroup.co.uk

 

Science & Industry

You’ve been to Cane and Grain and tucked into the ribs I’m sure – but have you ever been upstairs?

Science and Industry is a super-spiffy speakeasy, walls as you’d expect with taxidermy and old gold-framed photographs all hidden behind a crate covered door. As the name suggests, Science & Industry specialise in innovative cocktail creations that consistently pushes the boundaries of scientific and molecular mixology.

This may all sound rather complicated but you can expect a big selection of mental cocktails, mixed up and devised in their own back-room laboratory – giving you some crazy flavours and odd sensory experiences with every sip.

Science & Industry, 49 -51 Thomas Street, Manchester M4 1NA
www.caneandgrain.co.uk

 

Convenience Store

Everyone loves their friendly neighbourhood convenience store right? Especially when that particular one serves up some of the finest cocktails and drinks in town! Some favourites include the Flaming Moe, the Concussion Cola and the Wrongo Bongo which are just as much fun to say as they are to drink.

Convenience Store, 100-102 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester, M4 1HP
https://www.conveniencestorenq.com

 

Behind Closed Doors

If you are ever out on Oldham street you might have seen the fuchsia pink lights beckoning you in. Those lights descend into Behind Closed Doors – a veritable den of sleaze and debauchery, complete with a substantial list of fabulous cocktails, vintage erotica and a buzz of funk and soul tunes.

Potentially our city’s finest speakeasy bar – a night in the NQ which doesn’t end up here is a night wasted.

Behind Closed Doors, 91-95 Oldham Street, M4 1LW
www.bcdnq.co.uk

 

The Temple

Walking down Oxford Road it’s easy to miss The Temple amongst all of the supermarkets and chain restaurants. Located in a tiny public toilet, The Temple forces you to actually converse with other human beings while enjoying the brilliant jukebox and massive range of beers they have.

It’s an excellent place to booze away these cold winter nights that are quickly approaching and quite frankly, a Manchester institution.

From first impressions, you might think about skipping past this and possibly doing so quickly. But I can only urge you not to. There’s a pretty impressive beer selection inside, surprising given the size of this intimate pub. I wouldn’t recommend if you want a pint in silence, though.

The Temple, 100 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester M1 5JW

 

The Washhouse

The Washhouse is a speakeasy bar disguised as a laundrette – offering a range of cocktails and fizz in a small, comfortable environment packed with trendy peeps and modern songs.

To enter you will need to book on the phone – otherwise, instead of impressing your date you’ll just look like a right knob.

Once you have booked, turning up isn’t quite as easy as opening a door. No siree, you’ve gotta clamber through a washing machine. Alright, it’s a normal door disguised as a washing machine.

But still, we commend the commitment – this is what speakeasies are all about. Of course, it doesn’t stop there, the theme continues inside with on-brand cocktails.

The Washhouse, 19 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF
www.the-washhouse.co.uk

 

Wood & Company

Wood & Company has decided to hide behind a goods entrance – but once you’re in you’ll find yourself in a tile and wood decked bar offering a wide range of beers, wines and cocktails. Check it out, and try to make sure you get the right place; nobody wants to be walking around the back of a Greggs loading bay while trying to buy a gin and tonic.

Wood & Company, 39 S King St, Manchester M2 6DE

 

Dusk til Pawn

At first glance, and indeed until the sun goes down these black doors and window displays hide an interesting inside. What appears to be a pawn shop selling everything from the likes of TVs to guitars is of course not what it first seems.

Inside you’ll find a buzzing bar complete with a great jukebox, loads of cocktails and a great selection of craft ales. They also have a fantastic selection of whiskeys and bourbons, so you can probably have one of the best Old Fashions in town here- but I guess that is a pretty big statement.

Dusk Til Pawn, Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1FB
0161 236 5355

 

NQ64

Walk down a mucky alley in the Northern Quarter, past the brilliant Crazy Pedro’s, just after some of the bins and you’ll find a tiny sign and a graffiti-ridden staircase down. Descend and you’ll find yourself in retro games heaven with NQ64!

What sets this bar aside from everywhere else in the city is the fact that the room is jam-packed full of old school arcade machines, each of which can be played to your heart’s content using the dedicated NQ64 tokens.

There’s Golden Axe, there’s Star Wars, there’s Guitar Hero, there’s even an 8-player X-Men beat ’em up that more fun than doing the Macarena at a wedding. Oh, and they also have a long line of old consoles that are free-to-play.

A little tip for you, there’s also a rather brilliant Marvel arcade in the boys toilets – and it’s FREE too! Enjoy!

NQ64, 2 Short St, Manchester M4 1PW
nq64.co.uk

 

Corbieres

Pretty much a Manchester institution, with what many would consider to be the best jukebox in the city. Always rammed with blokes with long sideburns, parka jackets and a pair of pristine gazelles, you’ll be hard pressed not to find a more clichéd image of what it means to be a Manc on a Saturday afternoon.

It’s hard not to stick to what you know though when you were set up by a Former Man City player way back when in 1978. There’s plenty of Salford ales on tap too in this bar that actually looks a bit like a cave.

Corbieres, 2 Half Moon Street, Deansgate, Manchester, M2 7PS